Wait, tremendous government spending on contraceptive education doesn’t decrease risky teenage behaviour?

In an article published in 2015, David Paton and Sourafel Girma discovered that:

Our results have several policy implications. Our finding that promotion of LARCs is unable to explain much if any of the recent reduction in teenage pregnancy somewhat undermines the heavy emphasis on these forms of birth control by policy makers in recent years. In contrast, our results provide justification for policy approaches which seek to tackle underage pregnancy by focusing on more general issues such as deprivation and opportunity, particularly in regard to education. Our finding that demographic change may have played a role in reducing teenage pregnancy rates casts an interesting perspective on the immigration debate. Although rapid immigration may be associated with short term problems relating to integration and social change, our results are consistent with recent waves of immigrants providing an impetus for improvements in long term measures of deprivation.

As individuals from more conservative cultures move to England and enforce their “oppressive” understanding of sex as something not engage in, there is less teenage pregnancy. In other words, people who buy less into the stupid ideals of sexual liberation enjoy many of the protections those very traditions were developed to supply. Dalrymple wrote about this here:

And so if family life was less than blissful, with all its inevitable little prohibitions, frustrations, and hypocrisies, they called for the destruction of the family as an institution. The destigmatisation of illegitimacy went hand in hand with easy divorce, the extension of marital rights to other forms of association between adults, and the removal of all the fiscal advantages of marriage. Marriage melted as snow in sunshine. The destruction of the family was, of course, an important component and consequence of sexual liberation, whose utopian programme was to have increased the stock of innocent sensual pleasure, not least among the liberators themselves. It resulted instead in widespread violence consequent upon sexual insecurity and in the mass neglect of children, as people became ever more egotistical in their search for momentary pleasure.

Dalrymple, Theodore. Life At The Bottom (Kindle Locations 394-400). Monday Books. Kindle Edition.

And again:

The only criterion governing the acceptability of sexual relations was the mutual consent of those entering upon them: no thought of duty to others (one’s own children, for example) was to get in the way of the fulfilment of desire. Sexual frustration that resulted from artificial social obligations and restrictions was the enemy, and hypocrisy – the inevitable consequence of holding people to any standard of conduct whatsoever – was the worst sin. That the heart wants contradictory, incompatible things; that social conventions arose to resolve some of the conflicts of our own impulses; that eternal frustration is an inescapable concomitant of civilisation, as Freud had observed – all these recalcitrant truths fell beneath the notice of the proponents of sexual liberation, dooming their revolution to ultimate failure. The failure hit the underclass hardest. Not for a moment did the sexual liberators stop to consider the effects upon the poor of the destruction of the strong family ties that alone made emergence from poverty possible for large numbers of people. They were concerned only with the petty dramas of their own lives and dissatisfactions. But by obstinately overlooking the most obvious features of reality, as did my 17-year-old patient who thought that men’s superior physical strength was a socially constructed sexist myth, their efforts contributed in no small part to the intractability of poverty in modern cities, despite vast increases in the general wealth: for the sexual revolution has turned the poor from a class into a caste, from which escape is barred so long as that revolution continues.

Dalrymple, Theodore. Life At The Bottom (Kindle Locations 1023-1035). Monday Books. Kindle Edition.

Essentially, what sex education classes tend to do is to demoralize sex by disassociating it from any form of contractual agreement with society and with one another to become parents and net economic gains for civilization. In other words, be fruitful and multiply is replaced with, “have sex for fun, here’s some tools to decrease the chances for consequences.” The academic types who support the breaking of parental policing of child behavior and the liberation of sexual behavior from morality don’t tend to think of disassociating other elements of human endeavor from obligation: employment, education, and publishing. It’s a weird reality, people who felt left out in their youth use the academy to give an acid bath to the foundations of a happy life for the majority. Sad!

Also read:

School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents

In which the authors conclude:

There is a continued need to provide health services that cater for the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents by providing a range of contraceptive choices and condoms and to include them in decision-making around services that can most fully meet their needs. Schools may be a good place in which to provide sexual and reproductive health services, but there is little evidence that curriculum-based educational programmes alone, as they are currently configured and without the provision of contraception and condoms, are effective in reducing risk behaviours for adolescents and improving their health outcomes. It is likely that the wider role of health service provision and availability, gender norms, sexual exploitation and intimate partner violence, poverty and inequality also need to be acknowledged and addressed and that programmes for girls and boys might need to be configured differently.

Of course, as is typical among researchers of this sort, there is nothing mentioned about parental involvement because, as far as I can tell, parental oversight is barely extant in the contemporary lifeworld of such researchers.

If You Struggle With Anxiety

Some advice for anxiety is literally non-advice. Are there concrete steps for dealing with anxiety? 

An article at a famous news outlet recently stated

If you worry about the fact that you worry so much, take a deep breath: We have some good news. Researchers have found that people with anxiety often have higher intelligence.

Having a high IQ and wondering at a faster pace why things often go poorly for you or why other people have life better is not a pleasant experience or GAD wouldn’t be considered a disorder. I’m neither a doctor nor a psychologist, so I can’t treat or diagnose a disease, but I can say what I do when I have anxiety or a non-productive orientation toward the future.  

I appreciate journalistic attempts to draw attention to new research, but the why this article is written seems to be designed to encourage unhappy people to think they are stuck that way. The attitude that this rhetoric can feed into is one of learned helplessness or the pride associated with being overly clever.

If you struggle with anxiety, you don’t need to feel smarter. You want to be happy and less anxious. 

I’ll write elsewhere why the advice above can’t even be extracted from the study in the first place. 

But here I want to offer what I do to deal with my anxiety:

  1. Productive Action
    When I’m anxious about something and I immerse myself in my responsibilities, then I feel better when several tasks are complete. I also find that going for a walk, hitting the gym, building a thing, or cooking a meal can help. What I often try not to do until I conquer anxiety is make any important decisions so that I don’t make them out of desperation. The point of this is to distract yourself and build confidence. With confidence (a habit of hope for success), you don’t need anxiety. 
  2. Meditation
    Meditation, in the sense I mean here, is sitting in silence and considering your sensations and thoughts from a non-judgmental point of view. Set a timer and do this for a specific amount of time (no more than 5 minutes really). The focus is to get a picture of what thoughts keep popping into your mind. I give some tips for meditation here.
  3. Reasoning
    A simple tool for dealing with anxiety once you sat in silence and gotten a handle on the fact that right now, in the state you’re in you feel anxious, I recommend actually reasoning with the beliefs you have which make you anxious. But you’ve got to reason with them in order to refute them and then remind yourself that those beliefs are false. I explain how to do this here and here.
  4. Doctor
    If you have legitimate Generalized Anxiety Disorder, then you should go to a doctor and get some help. Check here for some guidelines for what to do if you struggle with crippling anxiety.

Basically, if you struggle with anxiety try to develop good habits (virtues). The two virtues that are perhaps most related to overcoming anxiety are self-mastery (enkrateia) and confidence

Destroying Self-Doubt

When you narrate your life, how do you write yourself? Personally, I have a long history of narrating myself as a loser, failure, or unfortunate person. If this is your struggle I found a helpful tool for you.

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Martial arts for your mind: thought kata

One of the great analogies for growing in virtue is that of a battle against the passions and appetites. The particular virtues which are like a battle in the moment are temperance and fortitude.

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